Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!!

Decorating a tree has been on the Solstice for my family has been something I've done for more than a decade now.  It's late compared to everyone else, but it is my way of celebrating the longest night of the year! 

Today, I'm decorating a real tree Jeremy, my 16 year old son, and his friend will chop down for me.  I'll put Christmas music on and make some hot chocolate and decorate the tree.  It's also "Mom" time. 

Mom has passed on two years ago.  But, I have a lot of "Mom" times....whenever I'm in the kitchen baking or cooking a big meal (I always got to help).  As an adult, I called Mom many times to ask her how to cook or bake something in particular; ...crocheting, doing crossword puzzles, and other odd times.  But, decorating a tree was something she really liked to do, and she made it special.  The tunes, the hot cocoa, the oohing and aahing over ornaments and lights and the finished tree.

Well, traditions change and remain the same.  As a child, we put up the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  As an astrologist and one aware of cycles, I like putting mine up on Winter Solstice.  Same, hot cocoa, (real) tree and lights, etc., but not the same day.

Why they call it the first day of Winter is beyond me.  Almost all of the time, winter weather has already come upon us.  But, it definitely is the longest night and shortest day of the year.  And, while Jeremy is growing up, I let him stay up this night as long as he wants.  After decorating the tree, he has something to look at and dream upon until sleep overtakes him.  

And, the best part of Winter Solstice is the "changing of the guard", so to speak.  The days will now become longer; oh yes, slowly at first, but it picks up as it goes along until we reach the Summer Solstice where it changes again.  Winter Solstice is dark, but it has the key to hope and longer days.  I love it for that and celebrate it with lights on the tree for brighter days.

Happy Solstice, friends.  May the light of days become more radiant for everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Facebook Give Away

Good morning.

I am doing a Salt Soap Give Away on my Facebook Business Page.  There are rules and everything!

1st Give Away
Rules: You have 24 hours from time of question to message me your answer.
One answer per person. Second and subsequent answers are not accepted.  You have to have "liked" my business page to qualify for an answer.
Each person with a correct answer has their name written on paper and put into a bowl for random drawing tomorrow morning.
The winner will be announced then. The winner gets a choice of a Salt Soap variety with free shipping (domestic or international).
Here's the question.........

I have 4 soap molds. I make 4 soaps every soap making day. Some days, I'm able to make 5 soaps. How is that possible?

Hint: I've written about this a few times here and in my blogs.
If you would like to participate, use the link above, like the page, and submit your answer.  I would love to see you win!!!

Thank you! kathleen 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's that Time of Year again!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I often laugh at the term "old school".  I think..."well, get with it then".  But, I think the term applies to me in this way!  I do not begin to celebrate Christmas until after that Thanksgiving meal.  So, I'm old school in this matter, I think.  LOL

My parents would put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  My Dad would work every Friday after Turkey Day, and then Saturday, we would put on the Christmas music and decorate the tree as a family.  This is when I grew up believing Christmas begins.

Now, I'm a small business owner.  I find that many businesses, the majority of them, begin Christmas even before Halloween.  I know, financially, it is the most lucrative time of the year.  However, I still feel the same about beginning Christmas after Thanksgiving, and I run my business that way.  I am only today putting Christmas packages of soap and skin care together for the Farmer's market I set up at every Saturday.  And, I begin my Holiday sale in my online shop Thanksgiving night.   Some things just stick.

My Holiday Sale:

For domestic orders - no minimum: Use coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS2011 - this will take off the shipping costs upon checkout.

For international orders - no minimum.  Do nothing.  I will reduce your shipping and refund the difference to your account.

For international orders $65 minimum, under 4 pounds: Use coupon code MERRYHOLIDAYS2011 - this will take off the shipping costs upon checkout.

And, this is it.  I send at least one free sample (soap sample, lip balm, butter, or salve sample) with every order.  This doesn't change with the Holiday sale.

I also package your order as a gift.

Thank you to all my existing customers, and I am going to appreciate all you new ones.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays ~ kathleen

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shampoo Soap Retraction No. 685

Okay, no...this is my first retraction; however, I can see how this may escalate when there is no way to erase online comments, posts, and more.  And, this is important.

I'm continuing to get messages about the hard water and shampoo bar issue.  My last post on this subject was wrong, and I was corrected in this comment on the same post.  I went to the site to which the comment had directed me, and the answer to why an acidic or chelating rinse is needed in hard water was laid there before me.

Yes, I know.  I didn't make a big deal out of it, did I?  That's the shame, and I apologize.   It seems quite simple now, but the fact is that a chelating agent is needed when rinsing hard water out of our hair.  A chelating agent is a substance that makes minerals and organics water soluble.  When we rinse our hair with hard water, minerals and other substances that are not soap cling to our hair.  A chelating agent makes those substances easy to rinse out and hence the "final" rinse.

Since learning this, I've discovered a supplier that sells chelating agents in powder form and am curious if using in shampoo, would we need a chelating rinse?  My next experiment.

Again, my apologies for misleading you all.  I thought I knew something, but as you see, I did not.  I'm glad to learn this, and I sincerely hope you are, too.  AND, I am always open to knowing I am wrong.  Thank you for that comment, Anonymous!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Free Shipping This Week

Good morning...

Just a short note to let you know Free Shipping is being offered for all domestic orders in my etsy shop, as well as reduced shipping for all International orders.

This will run September 13 through September 18 9 pm EDT.

I hope you take advantage of this offer.  Many of you do.  : )

Thank you all for your magnanimous support!!

yours, kathleen

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rain Outs at the Farmer's Market

...which I can ill afford now that I'm single again.  I began going back to the market because of the extra income I do so need.  Well, what to do when I'm rained out - and it looks as if that is going to happen at tomorrow's market.

I think I know what to do.  I will offer Free Shipping at my online shop every weekend I'm unable to go to the market.  This creates a "market-like" atmosphere in that you come in, pick up and pay for what you want, (wait a couple of days), and it arrives free.  And, this may in turn increase my sales for that weekend to help make up for my loss at the local market.  I will also offer reduced shipping for all International orders - according to weight - I will reimburse like value as for domestic orders. Whatever it would cost to ship domestic is the amount of refund for International shipments.

What do you think?  Is it fair?  When my local customers get a break, my online customers don't.  When my local customers don't get a break, my online customers do.  Seems odd, doesn't it?

I think we are going to give it a go this weekend - as the forecast is calling for 70% thunderstorms and showers Saturday.  I'll have to let you know how it goes.

yours, kathleen

AUGUST NEWSLETTER Prices Reduced at Sweet Creek Herbs!!

Good morning!  August sees a.....

Price Reduction

I'm taking a different approach to my shop and it's help toward a better economy.  I was offering free shipping.  For shop owners, this is a toughie, because all the cash required to ship comes out of the seller's pocket.  This brings a $10.30 order to $6.50 for two soaps, which after costs and expenses, I am making $1.50 on the sale. If I sold 60 of these a day, I'd be good to go.  But, I don't and I'm not!  :)

I can afford to lose money on my product more than I can afford to lose money on shipping. Shipping is cash out of my pocket...product discounts are monies not coming in.  Not money going out.  This, I can afford more to lose.

So, I've restructured my product pricing.  I've lowered almost all my prices by a substantial amount.  Soaps are reduced $.80 a bar. Lip balms are reduced $.40 a balm. All 2 oz. jars (mask, butter, salves) are reduced $.75 and 4 oz. jars reduced $.95. Sprays are reduced $.20.  And check out the new pricing on the sample packs - yeah!! 

However, these prices are until we see a betterment in our economy.  I'm just taking a cut temporarily.  You see, my supplies continue to go up, while I just took my prices down.  Some day, I will have to adjust that.

New Products 

I've reintroduced my Calendula Honey soap - a bastardized castile (2/3 olive oil 1/3 coconut oil) - excellent soap - with calendula petals and local honey added to this beauty.  I've also made new fresh Jewel weed soap for poison ivy, oak, or sumac; and this year, I've added calendula petals and calendula oil to it - it is beautiful and so very functional. :)

Seven, yes count them, seven new lip balms are added to inventory. This brings my lip balm varieties up to over 40!! These new balms are made to be summer worthy.  They are linked by a new butter - kokum.  It is a very nice butter for lip balms, lips, and to hold balms together a bit better than other butters.   There are 2 balms that are using other new butters, as well.  My Acai Honey lip balm has acai butter (palm & shea butters, jojoba oil, and acai fruit pulp powder) and my Chai Tea is using Green Tea butter (sweet almond oil, green tea leaf powder, hydrogenated vegetable oil).  These balms seem to excel when the weather is warm and can handle the humidity.

New products, like chamomile eye cream and Natural Facial Toner were derived working with customers. If you would like to see a product offering in my shop you think is lacking, please contact me - I'm easy to work with.

New & Final Labeling

Have any of you seen it?  My new labels?  

I print my soap labels as needed, so they are all changed over.  However, my sticky labels print a page at a time or batches have not yet been remade and are in the transition stage.  But, all labels will look like what I'm showing you here.  I've changed my banner and avatar at Etsy to look like my packaging.  I'm very pleased with it.  Finally, after 7 years, I come up with what I really like.  Now, to find a printer, because these babies are expensive to print!!!

Well, it seems everything this month is "new".  New prices, new products, and new labeling.  
Yay! for new.  : )  

Wishing everyone naturally clean...........kathleen

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Aroma Wands & Pots

Hi again.

I'd like to share a new product of mine - Aroma Scents.  I make Aroma Wands in 2 ml slim long tubes and Aroma Pots in 5 ml clear pots.  These are strongly scented aromas (at 10%) and should be tested before wearing them. I make them simple with only beeswax, coconut oil, and fragrance.  I am offering several skin safe fragrances.

If I get more than a few requests for essential/natural or precious oils perfumes, I will also offer them regularly.  At the present, however, you may request them, and if I have it, I will make it for you.

The prices are very reasonable - a product I'm looking to share not exploit.  The wands are $2.50 and the pots are $4.45 each.  Priced quite nicely for stocking stuffers.

And, if you choose to Like my business Facebook page and you order in the month of July, you may request a Free Aroma Wand of your choice.

These lovely fragrance sticks and pots have a nice throw of 6 to 8 hours of scent when used on your pulse points. The pots look so lovely on your vanity, dresser, or nightstand, while the wands are so handy to have on the go.  They easily fit in a pocket, too.

Thanks!!! ~Kathleen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Personal Moment

Good morning all.

I've been called "Liz Taylor" in these parts.  But, I've since learned to keep my mouth shut regarding the quantity of relationships I've experienced.

And, today, I am free to say I've notched another one. Yep! That's right!  Another relationship gone South for good.  Does it sound like I'm bragging?  Well, I'm not. I'm just a bit overwhelmed with my history of relationships!!

I've experienced 8 serious relationships with those I would have gladly married or did marry (4 of them said yes).  This last one (no..we weren't married whew! makes breaking up a whole lot easier) is the hardest break up for a few reasons.

1. We were together 9 1/2 years, living together 9 years April 1.  That's a long time in any one's book, but the longest I have ever been with someone. I've experienced breaking up many times, and I can truly say that it does feel like "death".  And, it is a death of some sort as dreams, goals, like-mindedness, and partnership are gone just like that; they die. And, that's the crying part.

2.  I'm 55 this Sunday.  Who wants to spend the rest of their life alone?  Okay, I'm 55 not 85; but after so many break ups, I'm thinking I do not want to do this again. So, yes, spend the rest of my life alone.  The argument here is to take it one step (day, hour, minute sometimes) at a time. But, when I start feeling sad, this creeps up on me.

3.  Two years ago, the problems began. I wasted two years hoping, working, striving, and concentrating on change, but, it didn't happen.  In fact, you may use the word escalation and be completely correct.  What stayed my hand was the circumstance. I own the house, and he came here with nothing but his clothes and personal stuff, like fishing rods and such. If it had been reversed, I would have left him 2 years ago. But, it is harder to tell someone else to leave when they have no where else to go.

4. And, last it could have been avoided.  My first born says to me one day, "You have to want something more than the addiction to beat the addiction."  I'm convinced after two years, my partner does not want me, our relationship, nor his family more than the addiction. He is strong willed and beat it for 6 years until one day a couple of years ago. Now, it seems he cannot keep away from it. I know not what else to do for my own peace and the example set for my second born.

So, thanks for letting me spill it all. I'm not usually for baring my soul, but it seems this is a catalyst to emptying myself of some of the pain.  ~kathleen

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Art in Nature Photographer - Laurie Ryan

flowersGood morning all.

It was my fortune to run across this fellow Etsian a few weeks ago. We discussed a feeling we had in common and then begin talking trade. She makes the most exquisite note cards from her photographs.  I enjoy using note cards very much, and it was a pleasure doing business with her from beginning to end. I asked her if I may interview her for my blog, and she agreed.  Here are her words:

1.  What is your product? Tell us exactly what you are offering us?

Photographs, they capture the beauty of nature and all her creatures. My images are sold as art work to be framed and hung on the wall for decorations.

A Wisconsin Waterfall, my cousin Carols image2.  When did you begin and what inspired you to this end?

 I think I was born with a camera in my hand LOL but have been using a 35mm camera now for over 30 years went public in 2001

3.  Where do you work most? Out in the field or in the home. Is editing a part of your work?
printed note cards
I take the images out doors in beautiful settings, I market here at home. most of my editing just involves cropping

4.  How is it going?  What is different today from the visions you had when you began.
Nature's beauty reflected

I think it is going ok, I had to stop doing shows to care for a diabetic dog and that cut my sales pretty bad but success isn't always messured in sales IMHO
the gracefulness of a flying egret
5.  Why do you do it?

I love photography always have and I have a strong love to our Mother Earth
Cloud images
Photography is what keeps me going each day, I have a bad back and need to walk everyday and carrying a camera just adds to the fun of walking

You may enjoy note cards, too, as well as or maybe instead beautiful pictures framed around your home.  I'm sure she would enjoy your visits, too.

Thank you, Laurie, and thank you all again for taking the time to read me.~kathleen


Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day

Good morning all:

This is one of my favorite days of the year...Earth Day.  I'm closer to Mama Earth today than ever before in my life.

I live in the woods between two ridges of Dogwood and Redbud beauty this time of year. Honeysuckle is greening up and blackberries are leafing out.

I live in a Hollow where I'm dependent on the weather for my garden crops and herbs' production.  I have no air conditioner to obstruct my relationship with the air I breathe, and my water comes from a spring.

When the weather is not good, it is not good for me, either. But, when the weather is good, it is perfect.

I'm surrounded by trees, bushes, and plants of all types. The stars show themselves at night when there are no clouds, because there are no lights to block their beauty.

Birds in abundance, as well as insects, bees, spiders, and snakes.  I appreciate them all as I see how they live in nature, dependent on each other for food.

My mother cherry tree fostered hundreds of little trees under her girth.  It looks like a Cherry Forest!
This time of year, life begins anew. I'm glad to witness it once again.  And, I'm thankful my life's path has led me here, close to Earth on Earth Day. :)

Thank you all for allowing me to breathe aloud my thoughts for the day.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New ArtFire Shop

Hi again.

I've opened a new online shop this morning at ArtFire.  I read there are some real concerns with the opt-in privacy issues at Etsy.  I realize, while reading forum threads and blog sites, that some customers will no longer shop at Etsy.  I don't know for sure if any of my customers have taken this stand; but if they have, I want to offer them my products at a more private friendly site.

It is my understanding that you don't have to "join" ArtFire to buy from shops listed there.

Many venues offering crafts and arts people a place to sell their handmade goods are socially inclined. Etsy, ArtFire, and a few others I've passed through encourage connectivity between artist and artist and customer and artist, and customer and customer by providing forums, blogs, ratings, etc. ArtFire just seems more user friendly to those who do not wish to connect.

So, this is a just a note to advise you of my new shop! I hope you will visit me there and check out my added location.  The Site is called Sweet Creek Soaps, but my banner is Sweet Creek Herbs.

Thanks ~Kathleen

Friday, April 8, 2011

Elegant Handmade Skin Care Now Ships FREE!!

April's Newsletter

Hi all!!

1) A definite news flash:  Sweet Creek Herbs now ships free (and reduced international) with a $10 minimum. 

I received a LL Bean catalog in which was stated that they were going to Free Shipping on all orders indefinitely, because the founder started the company that way.  It is a big deal in these hard economic times with gas prices increasing daily. It provoked me into thinking if I can offer the same to my customers.

I read in a forum that businesses do not make money when they ship free.  That is incorrect.  It cuts out the retail profit, but there is still wholesale profit. In order to keep the Free shipping indefinite, a small minimum of $10 will prevent losing money. 

2) New Format

You may have noticed some changes taking place in the Shop.  The goal is to create consistency, provide more than one of a product for sale at the same time, and provide feedback in a more convenient manner.

The consistency comes in the title and description.  Are you able to read the title and description with little question in your mind?  That is the goal.  What this means is you won't find Whipped Shea Butter, lavender in a listing.  But, you will find 2 listings of 4 oz. butters and 2 listings of 2 oz. butters of Your Choice - and you will now be able to buy 2 of the same butters without a special order. This will require entering your choice at checkout, and so far, it is working great. Thanks!!

Also, you may notice in all listings but (yet) the soap, feedback for that product. I am pulling (private) feedback from my shop's FEEDBACK and entering into the listings. I will continue to add as we go for your convenience in knowing what others say about it.

Which brings me to my next topic.....

3) Feedback!!!  I have received my first neutral feedback.  And, it seems, right after having received it, quite a few rolled in.  Much like the first one opening the door to a few standing in line.  0_0    Many of my peers and customers scoff at my concern as they seem to take into account my sales:

(Yippee!! > bragging rights>>)
 Over 3000 items sold
         1400 orders
          1900 positive feedback

Yet, 7 (7???!?!?) Neutral feedback as of this writing.  I've become nervous opening up the new feedback to read it.  LOL

Okay, yes, if you read them, you will notice many of them are nothing to do with my product.  hehe   And, all right, it is neutral and not negative.  And, thankfully, it doesn't seem to affect sales. (whew!)

And, I'd like to say for the record, I will not retaliate. In fact, I give positive feedback to every paying customer.

But, it does tend to bum me out when I read them.  If you are one of those 7 and are reading this - I offer to refund your money for your order.  Thanks!

4)  New products have been and are being introduced.  I now offer soy wax tart melts.  Not only are they a blast to create and make, but I love melting them in my personal sized diffuser.  I didn't have to buy a special tart warmer, which pleased me, to test and use my melts.  They are strong and true! One tart can last through several burnings and still continue to scent the air around it!

New soaps include 2 new castile soaps.  I love them! I'm using the scented right now, and it has become my soap of choice. They are made with organic extra virgin olive oil.  At trace, I add activated charcoal, a blend of green and pink French clays, rhassoul clay, kelp, and green tea powder in a bit of grape seed oil, and to the scented one, a blend of lavender and eucalyptus oils for scent (and benefits to ALL skin types). OMG, man, it's good.
Another new soap is my Goat Milk Banana Mango soap. This at the request of one of my customers. It smells rich and sweet, and the soap is a beautiful goat milk soap.  Mango butter is added at trace.
Brought back from last year's warm seasons and available very soon are Honeysuckle Hollow, Calendula Honey, Blueberry Cobbler, and White Jasmine.

Heads up - Whipped butters (all but the Mango) are in their last month of availability. Just letting those who read this know...they will go on sale the last few days of April.

5) I've made a major decision in my soap making career. I've decided to pull out of the Farmer's Market (65 minutes away) and put that focus into my online shop, gardening, and my family.  I have been a part of that market 5 years. I've made friendships that will last the rest of my life. :)  However, it requires 3 or more days a week to operate efficiently, and I've realized recently that has taken its toll on my family, health through gardening, and even myself.  This decision has brought a sense of relief and weightlifting. I hope you will see the results of this decision through my shop and activities here online.

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with Sweet Creek Herbs. I hope to be packaging y'all's order very soon.  ~kathleen

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gardening Again!

Hi you all!

Another day I'm up and able, I ought to be thankful for that. How are you? I have to say I've re-discovered my method of rejuvenation. It has been some years, though.....
I love what I do, don't misunderstand. I own and operate my own soap and herbal shop, and I'm inspired and excited by my shop's progress. Starting up and making a business succeed takes a lot of time. The first five years, I was absorbed by it. I did not do the things I've always done in my last twenty or so years.

I didn't read. I didn't work out my astrology charts, I didn't garden, etc. I worked hard at the business almost 24/7 363 (maybe 2 days off a year) days a year. Just last year, I began finding myself again.

I began reading. I credit this to my son, Jeremy, who gifted me on Mother's Day with a John Grisham novel I had not read. It took me a few months to read more than a few pages at a time, but I eventually found that enjoyable space when reading an exciting novel puts me in a rejuvenating zone again.

Just this spring, I re-found my gardening spot. It has been 5 years since I put my hands in soil with purpose. Last Sunday, I spent the day in my garden beginning to reclaim what I had worked so hard for before I began soap making. It is going to be a hard task, but it felt so good to be out there. I went back at it Monday, even though it was lightly raining. Yesterday - too wet. But, today, it will be dry and sunny, and I'm going to step out in it for 30 minutes or so.

It felt good, it makes my space look good, and it is going to feed me and mine. Yes, I planted, too. I planted spinach, lettuce, and peas. I have lots of plans for the small space I'm reclaiming this year. And, next year? I hope to reclaim some more.

So, now I re-discovered two out of three main structures of myself. I'm looking forward to the day I can re-discover my passion for astrology.

Thanks for hearing me out...kathleen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

1st coupon code sale at Sweet Creek Herbs


Today, I'm trying something new. I'm using Etsy's coupon code app in my shop. I set up the code for 15% off, no minimum required. Actually, I notice you cannot have a minimum when setting up a coupon code through Etsy. is where you go if you are looking for quality, handmade skin care offered at a discount the next few days.

The coupon? Oh, yes.. it is paddy11. When you are ready to check out on Etsy, type in the code where it asks you for it, and you get 15% off your entire order, sans shipping (and sales tax for Tennesseans).

So, come on over and visit my shop online for a discount of 15% March 15th through March 18th.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pre Valentine's Day Sale

Good Evening:

You may think it a bit early for Valentine's Day shopping, but if you are buying online, now is a good time to buy.

For one, there is a sale going on right now. If you purchase one Valentine's product along with the rest of your order, I will refund 10% back to you for your whole order before shipping costs.

Also, every Valentine's product sold is shipped already gift wrapped.

And, there is still a Free Shipping offer at my shop for orders $30 and more - so you could double up on offers if you so choose.

Thanks for visiting. Come see me also at